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R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022 • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan - Archive Only

R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

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R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:50 pm

The Japan News by the Yomiuri Shimbun reports that director & screenwriter Kazuki Omori passed away on November 12 at age 70.

https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/obituaries/20221115-70930/

Omori was one of the main architects of the Heisei Series of Godzilla films, writing and directing both Biollante and King Ghidorah, and later writing both Mothra and Destroyer. Among the many other films he directed was Super Star Fleet Sazer-X The Movie (2005) which also had special effects directed by Koichi Kawakita.

Thankfully, just a little over a year ago, Omori was gracious enough to participate in a livestreamed video interview for the Kaiju Masterclass II event. For just a little over an hour, Steve Ryfle and Patrick Galvan interviewed Omori with Mariko Godziszewski serving as an interpreter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOvVvHdtArk

Here's a transcript of Brett Homenick's July 2006 interview with Omori, with an updated 2021 translation by Yusuke Sasaki:
https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2017/05/13/kazuki-omori-recalls-the-heisei-godzilla-series-tohos-writer-director-shares-his-memories-of-the-king-of-the-monsters/

Here's a transcript of Brett Homenick's May 2019 interview with Omori, translated by Mari Hirose and Keiko Takemata:
https://vantagepointinterviews.com/2019/07/30/reimagining-godzilla-for-the-heisei-era-kazuki-omori-on-updating-godzilla-for-a-new-generation/

R.I.P. Kazuki Omori
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Re: R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby Kailem » Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:42 am

Sad news indeed. He was responsible for some of the very best of the Heisei era. I know many people consider Biollante *the* best (and it's absolutely up there), but personally my fave was always GvKG. I think I'll have to make that my next rewatch after this.
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Re: R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby lhb412 » Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:18 pm

Terrible, 70 isn't even that old, especially when you compare with so many names involved in Showa-era tokusatsu still with us. Damn shame.

When it comes to Godzilla I am mainly a fan of the Showa series, but of the movies made since then Godzilla vs. Biollante is one of the few I'd call a certified classic. Along with GMK and Shin they are the greatest Godzilla films made during my lifetime!

Certainly one of the most significant creators in the history of the franchise, too - probably tied with Kawakita in terms of influence over the Heisei series.
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Re: R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:52 pm

Biollante really is the most ambitious, innovative and well-made film of the Heisei Series but King Ghidorah is my favorite Heisei entry. In the July 2006 interview linked above, Omori said that it was his favorite too:

"Mr. Tanaka’s philosophy was that, if you have an hour-and-a-half movie, you should have a big fight between kaiju at least every 30 minutes in the movie, which makes the best kaiju movie. So, in the first 30 minutes, you see the Godzillasaurus taking on the American army, the next 30 minutes is Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and in the last 30 minutes you have Godzilla vs. Mecha-King Ghidorah. So it was as perfectly matched to the producer’s philosophy. Don’t forget about the existence of M11."

"It was the 60th anniversary for Toho. At that time, Toho had three main genres of movies: war, science fiction, and kaiju movies. All these different genres were in this movie, so it was a well-balanced movie, I thought. So, for the 60th anniversary, it was a very worthy movie, which is what the producer and everyone thought. So we had a very [good] balance with the movie itself, and [the battle of] Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, who had been a really strong enemy, is contained in this movie. Thus, it’s my favorite movie."
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Re: R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby lhb412 » Wed Nov 16, 2022 8:35 pm

^ Wow! I'd never heard that rationalization that GvKG was a 3-genre fusion for Toho's 60th!
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Re: R.I.P. Kazuki Omori, 1952-2022

Postby DannyBeane » Fri Nov 18, 2022 12:41 am

It's crazy how many Godzilla stalwarts we've lost the past few years. There's not too many shows or even Heisei people left it seems. This makes me sad. G vs Biollant is one of my favorite Godzilla films too.
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